“Emma Amos: Color Odyssey,” a survey show of Emma Amos’ (CRF 2013) prolific career, organized by the Georgia Museum of Art and now on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was recently reviewed in the New York Times.

“Amos’s work is rigorous and complex, clever and passionate, jam-packed with intellectual and emotional stimulation. She attempted to recast history — art’s, the country’s, her own — from her position as a Black woman….

One gets the sense that Amos never fully broke with anything, whether a style or medium. Her whole career was an additive process of expanding her skills and techniques and then finding ways to combine or complement them. In the 1960s, she worked for a commercial textile designer and, later on, taught weaving — occupations she kept hidden at first because the art establishment looked down upon them as craftwork…

Incorporating bold, bright colors and patterns, she infused her pieces with pleasure while tackling serious topics. Amos scrambled all the categories in which she might have fit: craft and art, women’s and men’s work, African and Western, grave and fun…For Amos, there was resistance and freedom in heterogeneity — an ability to be her multiple selves at once and an opportunity to rethink the tropes and traps of history.”

Read more about the show, up at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through January 17th, 2022, here.

Image: “Without Feather Boa” (1965), a print of Amos wearing blue sunglasses and seemingly nothing else. Credit Emma Amos; Whitney Museum of American Art